An insider's guide to becoming a business academic (international edition)

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This resource has been developed as part of a HEA/JISC Open Educational Resources (OER) Phase Three Programme: Promoting UK OER Internationally. It is designed to be a practical guide for Business academics transitioning to work in the United Kingdom (UK) Higher Education (HE) sector. It is divided into four parts: preparing to work in the UK; settling into the UK HE sector; strategies for long term success, appendices including checklists and jargon buster. It works on a simple question and answer basis, covering general question areas, teaching and learning, research and scholarly activity and administration. Checklists cover: preparing to work in the UK, coping from day one; preparing to deliver a module; preparing a module handbook; preparing a coursework assignment; beginning research; build your own meetings schedule; build your own workload model.

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An insider's guide to becoming a business academic (international edition)

  1. 1. Insights for the International Academic Community Dr Philippa Hunter-Jones The University of Liverpool Management School, UKTo cite this work please use: Hunter-Jones, P. (2013) An Insider’s Guide to Becoming aBusiness Academic in the UK: Insights for the International Academic Community.University of Liverpool. http://research-archive.liv.ac.uk /If you re-use or re-purpose this workplease also include the identifier: phj:010113:01liv in your attributions. 2013, The University of LiverpoolABOUT THE GUIDE:This Guide is one outcome of a HEA/JISC Open Educational Resources (OERs) PhaseThree Programme: Promoting UK OER Internationally. The Guide is intended to be a re-purposable resource, of relevance not only to business education, but also adaptable toother subject areas and for generic application. It has been designed to take account ofthe UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) and includes a range of templates(checklists) which might be used as evidence towards professional recognition against thatFramework. Examples of this professional recognition might include postgraduatecertificates, HEA fellowships and other forms of professional development at any of theUKPSF descriptor levels.1 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  2. 2. The content included in the Guide has been developed by the author and does notnecessarily represent the views of her host institution. All errors are her own. Do let herknow (P.Hunter-Jones@liverpool.ac.uk). It is primarily written for the UK Higher Education(HE) sector. In the spirit of OERs, please use it, and feel free to re-purpose or re-model itciting both the full reference as indicated on page 1, and also addingphj:010113:01liv in your attributions.ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Philippa Hunter-Jones has worked in a College of Higher Education, a post ’92 universityand a pre ’92 university. She has also delivered programmes in India, Bulgaria andPoland. She has worked in a range of Divisions, Departments, Schools, KnowledgePlatforms, Research Clusters and Themes across a variety of subject areas includingSport, Leisure, Tourism, Hospitality and Events, and more recently, Marketing andOperations Management within a Management School.She began her first (fixed-term) lecturing post on a Thursday in September. The followingMonday, with no formal ‘teacher training’, she delivered her first lecture to 60 students.The technology (overhead projector) failed… Fifteen years, three jobs, two babies and onePhD later she was invited to attend her first induction… It was fascinating! She continuesto enjoy the challenges of this often bewildering environment. And thanks John, Lucy andAlexandra for keeping her sane.2 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  3. 3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:The development of this Guide has been made possible through the ideas, guidance andsupport of many colleagues including first and foremost the project management team:Alex Fenlon, Adrian Thomas and Stephen Gormez at the Higher Education Academy andRebekah Southern, the External Evaluator. Mr Peter Andrew, the Project ResearchAssociate, Tatiana Novoselova, OER Resource Developer, University of Liverpool andfellow colleagues at the University of Liverpool who helped to facilitate the project includingPaul Drake, Jill Roberts and Melanie Pimlett (Management School) and Peter Brewer(Human Resources). Thanks also to those who took the trouble to provide feedback andsuggestions for this edition of the Guide. Here particular thanks go to Markus Pillmayer,Norman Peng, Annie Chen and Jorge Hernandez Hormazabal. This Guide builds upon anearlier HEFCE funded, JISC/HEA managed project lead by Richard Atfield at the HigherEducation Academy. Thanks must go again to the multiple contributors to that originalstudy.3 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  4. 4. 1. SUMMARY This Guide is designed to help you, the Business academic transitioning to work in the United Kingdom (UK) Higher Education (HE) sector, through the early days and years of your new academic role. The Guide: • answers questions frequently asked at this point identifies questions you need to ask • identifies operational issues which are likely to arise from day one • provides suggestions and checklists on how to manage these issues. The Guide is sectioned into four parts: • Preparing to work in the UK • Settling into the UK Higher Education (HE) sector o The Academic as a Teacher o The Academic as a Researcher o The Academic as an Administrator • Strategies for long-term survival and success • Appendices: including checklists and a Jargon BusterIt is long and inevitably generic too. To get the most out of it, treat it as a resource that youdip in and out of as needed and use the checklists to help you to personalize it.The Checklists:Checklist 1: Preparing to work in the UK (Appendix 1)Checklist 2: Coping from day one (Appendix 2)Checklist 3: Preparing to deliver a module (Appendix 3)Checklist 4: Preparing a module handbook (Appendix 4)Checklist 5: Preparing a coursework assignment (Appendix 5)Checklist 6: Beginning research (Appendix 6)Checklist 7: Build your own meetings schedule (Appendix 7)Checklist 8: Build your own workload model (Appendix 8)Excellent further resources include:www.internationalstaff.ac.ukwww.britishcouncil.org./new/euraxess/Guide-for-international-researchershttp://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk4 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  5. 5. 2. CONTENTS 1. Summary 4 2. Contents Page 5 3. Introduction: About this Guide 10 • Why has this Guide been written? 10 • Are ‘new’ Business Academics all the same? 10 • Given the diversity of circumstances, 11 what is the point of developing one guide? • How is this Guide structured? 11 • Where have the questions included originated from? 12 • A comment on terminology used 12 • What are Departmental protocols? 14 4. Preparing to work in the UK LEGAL 14 • Do I need a visa? 14 • What documents would be useful for me to bring to the UK? 14 • Do I need to register with the police? 14 • Will I need a National Insurance number? 14 • Will I need to pay any taxes in the UK? 15 • What other legal documents am I likely to need? ACCOMMODATION 15 • Which types of accommodation exist in the UK? 15 • What costs will be involved with accommodation? 15 • Am I eligible for any relocation expenses? CHILDCARE / SCHOOLING 15 • Where can I find out information about the UK education system for my child/ren? 16 • How do I find a school for my child/ren? 16 BANKING AND FINANCE • Where should I have my salary paid into? 16 • What information am I likely to need to set up a bank account?5 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  6. 6. 16 MEDICAL AND PERSONAL SAFETY 16 • Who should I register with for medical care? • I am worried about my personal safety where can I turn to for advice? 17 SOURCES OF INFORMATION • Where else can I turn to for help? 18 5. Settling into the UK Higher Education (HE) sector 18 • What is academic life really all about? 18 • Which function is the most important? 18 • In the UK, what are ‘old universities’ and ‘new universities’? 19 • What is the National Student Survey (NSS)? 19 19 • What is the Browne review? 20 • Why do management employ ‘new’ academic staff? 20 • Who are my colleagues and where do they fit in? 20 • How do I meet my colleagues? 21 • What questions should I ask on, and from, Day One? • What are the key documents I really need on Day One? 22 The Academic as a Teacher 22 Teaching Activity: 22 • What teaching will I be responsible for? 22 • What level of teaching can I expect to be involved in? 23 • Will I have to prepare all the teaching materials from scratch? 23 • What do I do if I am asked to teach outside of my subject area? 23 24 • How many hours will I have to teach? • What is a workload model? 25 • What is the difference between a lecture, a seminar and a tutorial? 25 • What might my typical teaching and learning related activities 25 include? 26 • What will I need to begin my teaching? 26 • Where will I find out information? 26 • What are module learning outcomes? 266 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  7. 7. • Do I have to cover all module learning outcomes? 26 • How much freedom do I have to teach what I want in a module? 27 • Will I be expected to supervise student projects? 27 27 • Will I be given any pastoral roles in the early days? 27 • How do I learn to teach? 28 • What do I do if I want to organise a field trip? 28 • Will I be subject to inspections/audits? • Do I have to take attendance registers? 28 • What do I do if a student is ill in class? 29 • How do I change the content of a module, or introduce a new 29 module? 29 • How do I know if I am a good or bad teacher? • What facilities will my teaching rooms have? 29 • Can I use my own laptop in teaching rooms? 29 30 • I am timetabled for one hour lectures. Do I lecture for the full 30 hour? • Am I responsible for the state I leave the teaching room in? • What do I need to do if I want to invite a Guest Speaker in? 31 • Do I need to evaluate my teaching at all? 31 • How are courses reviewed? 32 32 The Student Population: 32 • What can I expect in terms of students? 32 • What are Generation Y students? • What will the student population expect from me? 33 • What questions are students likely to ask me? • What are students particularly focused upon? 33 • What do I do if students are disruptive e.g. arrive late, talk 33 through my lectures, use their mobile phones? • How should I respond if a student challenges my lecture 33 materials? 34 • Should I know the names of students? 34 • What do I do if my students are struggling with speaking or writing in English? 35 • How do I manage student contact with me? 357 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  8. 8. • What do I do if students complain to me about a colleague? 36 • Am I allowed to have a relationship with one of my students? 36 36 The Assessment Process: 37 • How do I set coursework and examination papers? 37 • What do I need to do for students who are re-sitting coursework 37 and/or examinations? 38 • How do I stop students from copying the work of others? • How do I mark work and how much feedback is required? 39 • How do I mark group work? • Can I take marking home? 39 • What are the usual marking bands? 39 • How do I cope with invigilating examinations? 39 • What do I need to do regarding the External Examiner? 39 40 The Academic as a Researcher 40 40 • What is scholarly activity? • What are the most common examples of this activity? 40 • How important is it that I become involved in scholarly activity? 40 • Which form of scholarly activity is the most important? 41 • Will I be given a timetable allowance for this activity? 41 • What funding options should I consider at this stage? • Will I be able to use this activity in applying for future jobs and 42 promotional opportunities? • Will I benefit financially from other forms of scholarly activity? 43 • How do I find out opportunities to become involved in this work? 43 • What are the RAE and the REF? 43 • Research outputs seem important. How are decisions reached 43 regarding the quality of research outputs? 43 • Where can I turn to for help 44 44 The Academic as an Administrator • What is administration in HE? 45 • What are the most common examples of this activity? 45 • Does assessment and marking count as administration? 458 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  9. 9. • How much time should I spend on administration? 45 • Will I be given a timetable allowance for this activity? 46 • Will I be able to use this activity in applying for future promotional 46 47 opportunities? 47 47 6. Strategies for long-term survival and success 48 • Network 48 • Ethics • Teaching 49 • Workplace • Opportunities • Research 53 • Know Your Institution 55 • Identity 59 60 • Next Step 61 • Game Playing 62 65 7. References and Useful Information Sources 67 69 74 8. Appendices: 80 • Appendix 1. Checklist 1: Preparing to work in the UK • Appendix 2. Checklist 2: Coping from Day One • Appendix 3. Checklist 3: Preparing to Deliver a Module • Appendix 4. Checklist 4: Preparing a Module Handbook • Appendix 5. Checklist 5: Preparing a Coursework Assignment • Appendix 6. Checklist 6: Beginning Research • Appendix 7. Checklist 7: Build your own meetings schedule • Appendix 8. Checklist 8: Build your own workload model • Appendix 9. Jargon Buster • Appendix 10. The Academic Year Pressure Points • Appendix 11. Attributions9 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  10. 10. 3. INTRODUCTION: ABOUT THIS GUIDEWhy has this Guide been written?In 2008, the Business, Management, Accountancy and Finance (BMAF)Subject Centre of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) launched a project to investigatethe support and development needs of new academic staff in Business-related disciplines.One area of need identified within new academic staff interviews was for the developmentand circulation of a practical resource which: • explained what being a new academic was all about; • answered the many questions new academics have at this stage of this job, including those questions we might feel uneasy asking.A Guide was developed in response to that need(see http://research-archive.liv.ac.uk/3533/).Feedback from that Guide indicated that international staff, transitioning to work within theUK HE sector had additional questions which required attention. This Guide has beendeveloped in response to that need.Are ‘new’ Business Academics all the same?No. Being ‘new’ might take any number of forms: • You might be a member of staff in your first full-time academic post having completed full-time education, a PhD for instance. • You might be a member of staff entering the profession after a period of ‘industry’ employment. • You might be an international member of staff entering the country, perhaps for the first time, to take up your post. • You might be moving between culturally different institutions and feel ‘new’. In the UK this might include moving between a pre ’92 (often referred to as ‘an old university’) and post ’92 university (often associated with a former polytechnic) for instance. • So too, you might be a part-time member of staff, or visiting lecturer who have a number of other commitments to attend to alongside your education role.Being a Business Academic might also take many forms. You may be involved in any one,or more, of the following: • Accountancy, E-Business, Entrepreneurship, Economics, Events, Finance, Graduate Employability, Hospitality, International Business, Law, Leadership,10 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  11. 11. Management, Marketing, Operations Management, Public Policy, Retail, Service Management, Sport, Strategic Management, Supply Chain Management, Tourism and other.You may enter academia with: • A raft of academic qualifications, including a PhD. • A raft of qualifications, and nearing completion of your PhD. • Professional qualifications. • Other attributes.Given the diversity of circumstances, what is the point of developing one Guide?Regardless of your entry route, or subject area, you will share one thing in common withpast and present generations; at this point you will feel: • overwhelmed • probably isolated • likely bewilderedWhat does all the jargon mean?! Yes, you are likely to receive an induction, be allocated amentor or buddy, be able to access considerable staff development opportunities and besubject to appraisals and annual reviews, but this may not happen on day one, or evenweek one of your new job. What do you do? How do you survive? This Guide intends tohelp you through these early days and years by: • answering questions frequently asked at this point; • identifying questions you need to ask; • identifying operational issues which are likely to arise from day one; • providing suggestions and checklists on how to manage these issues in the short and longer term.How is this Guide structured? • It works on a simple question and answer basis. • The content covers: o Preparing to work in the UK o Settling into the UK Higher Education (HE) sector o Strategies for long-term survival and successWhere have the questions included originated from? • The questions are derived from four sources: o Source one: questions which arose in the 2008 project interviews11 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  12. 12. (www.heacademy.ac.uk/business/projects/detail/new_academic_staff). o Source two: questions which arose in a ‘New and Aspiring Business Academics Workshop’ hosted by BMAF and the author in 2011. o Source three: questions identified through research undertaken by the author in 2011 leading to the development of http://research-archive.liv.ac.uk/3533/. o Source four: questions identified through research undertaken by the author in 2012 specifically for this Guide. • The answers are derived from various sources: o Some are factual with sources provided. o Others, in keeping with the Guide, are based upon experience and insights. These answers are inevitably subjective and should be interpreted as such. No claims are made that they are applicable to all situations, all of the time. They have been developed by an author who fundamentally adores her work and wants you to too. All errors are her own. Use the answers as you see fit and add to them.A comment on terminology used: • We all work in institutions with their own terminology. To accommodate this, this Guide uses the term ‘Department’ to mean the unit you are working in. You may well be working in a Department, but so too you could be based in a School, Subject Group, Research Group, Research Cluster or a unit of another name. It uses Module to indicate the course you are teaching. Your institution may refer to this as a unit, course or other. If you stay in academia long enough you will use all these terms at least once! • Each institution will also operate its own interpretation of the academic year. For instance, some will operate a two semester year (September to February and February to June), others a three semester year (September to February, February to June and June to September), and others a three term year (September to Christmas, Christmas to Easter, Easter to June). This Guide works on the notion of two teaching semesters (September to February and February to June) and one semester of dissertation/project supervision (June to September). • Please substitute the terminology and interpret the academic year as appropriate to your circumstances.What are Departmental protocols? • Departmental protocols are rules that operate at a local level. • They will cover a host of issues including setting and marking assignments, meeting and responding to student needs, information needed by External Examiners and so on. This Guide makes continual reference to them. This might lead you to12 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  13. 13. believe that they appear in a written format, perhaps a staff or student handbook or other detailed documents. Whilst this might be the case, it is much more likely that protocols will be communicated verbally through conversations with colleagues, or will appear on single sheets of paper. Do not be mislead into thinking that comprehensive materials will automatically exist. • Where protocols are only verbally available be sure to question them with a number of colleagues. Folklore can sometimes take over in academia!13 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  14. 14. 4. PREPARING TO WORK IN THE UK (See Checklist 1)In preparing to make the move to the UK there are a number of generic decisions you willneed to make. These are likely to relate to legal; accommodation; childcare/schooling;banking and finance; medical and safety needs; sources of information.LEGALDo I need a visa? • Yes, this is likely to be a key consideration and one that you need to research carefully. The UK Border Agency operates a points based system in deciding whether or not to issue a visa. • To apply for your visa you will probably need a certificate of sponsorship provided by your employer upon your acceptance of a formal job offer. • For up-to-date information you will need to consult the UK Border Agency website (http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/ ). The immigration and nationality directory also contains useful information on visas and sponsorships.What documents would be useful for me to bring to the UK? • Birth certificate; National identity card; driving licence; passport; job offer/letter of acceptance; certificate of sponsorship; degree certificates; bank references; medical certificates e.g. vaccination certificates; insurance documents; proof of previous permanent address.Do I need to register with the police? • Nationals from certain countries are required to register with the police within seven days of arriving in the UK. • To find out which countries, and how to go about this, check out the police force website at: http://www.police.uk/Will I need a National Insurance number? • Yes, living and working in the UK requires you to have a National Insurance (NI) number. • You can find out how to apply for this at the following website: https://www.gov.uk/national-insurance/overview • The application process may take a number of weeks to complete. You need to make this a priority upon arrival.Will I need to pay any taxes in the UK? • Yes. You will need to investigate Council Tax (or rates in Northern Ireland) and Income Tax.14 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  15. 15. • For links to Council Tax see: https://www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council • For links to Income Tax see: https://www.gov.uk/income-tax/overviewWhat other legal documents am I likely to need? • To be able to drive in the UK you will need a driving licence. • If you own a television you will need to apply for a television licence, renewable on an annual basis.ACCOMMODATIONWhich types of accommodation exist in the UK? • There are multiple types of accommodation you might wish to stay in the UK. • There is accommodation to rent: a flat, apartment, house, halls of residence; room in a house. This will usually be accompanied by some form of tenancy agreement which is a legally binding document. • There is accommodation to buy. This is a very complex activity in the UK and often involves different types of organisations. It involves the finance sector as you will likely need to raise finance in the form of a mortgage. Estate Agents usually play a role in advertising property. Solicitors play a role in conveyancing i.e. confirming the legal status of your purchase.What costs will be involved with accommodation? • If you are renting you might be expected to pay a deposit of at least one months rent in advance to secure the accommodation. • Rents are normally payable on a monthly basis, in advance. • If you are purchasing a property the costs can be considerable as you need to take account of: the cost of the property; estate agent costs; solicitor costs; surveyor costs; removal expenses.Am I eligible for any relocation expenses? • This will depend upon your contractual arrangements. Check this out with your Human Resources department. There will be a policy in place to cover this.CHILDCARE/SCHOOLINGWhere can I find out information about the UK education system for my child/ren? • The UK education system comprises state-funded education and private education. The majority of children are educated in state-funded education. • As part of a funded project, Middlesex University have compiled a guide to schooling in London. This resource is useful as it provides background information on the structure of compulsory education in the UK, England in particular.15 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  16. 16. • The resource can be accessed at: http://www.afsi.org.uk/images/stories/documents/AFSI-Newly-Arrived-Migrants-and- Schools-Guide-for-Parents-final.pdf • General advice about schooling in the UK can be found at: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Parents/SchoolslearninganddevelopmentHow do I find a school for my child/ren? • Further information detailing what you need to take into account in selecting a school, and what to do next can be found via the British Council website:http://www.britishcouncil.org/learning-infosheets-choosing-state-funded- schools.pdf • Information about a particular school can be found at: http://schoolsfinder.direct.gov.uk/BANKING AND FINANCEWhere should I have my salary paid into? • There are multiple options for banking in the UK. These include traditional banks and building societies. • Each will offer different products e.g. current accounts, savings accounts etc. • Each will offer different services e.g. opening hours, online banking facilities etc. • You will need to set up an account as soon as you are able upon your arrival.What information am I likely to need to set up a bank account? • Passport, National identity card, residence permit, driving licence, tenancy agreement, pay slips, proof of previous permanent address, certificate of sponsorship, former bank references.MEDICAL AND PERSONAL SAFETYWho should I register with for medical care? • You need to register with a doctor’s surgery, also known as a General Practitioner (GP). These operate within the National Health Service (NHS). Treatment is state- funded through taxation but you will be required to pay for any prescriptions that are issued to you. • You should register as soon as you arrive and not wait until you are ill. • You also need to register with a dental practice. • There are two types of dental practice in the UK: a NHS practice which is state- funded and private dental practices, which can be expensive. • You will find information about how to find and register with both NHS doctors and dentists via the following website: http://www.nhs.uk/servicedirectories/Pages/ServiceSearch.aspx16 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  17. 17. I am worried about my personal safety where can I turn to for advice? • The British Council have produced a really useful guide on settling safely into life in the UK. It can be accessed via the following link: http://www.britishcouncil.org/eduk- comfort-zone.pdf • This link covers multiple areas including personal safety, safety in your home, safety on the streets and protecting your identity. • There are further helpful web addresses sourced in this document. • You can also access information via the Government Home Office website: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crime/SOURCES OF INFORMATIONWhere else can I turn to for help? • It is possible that the institution you are joining might produce their own handbook or information sources for international staff. These might be accessed via the Human Resources (or equivalent) website. • Examples of very useful institutional welcome handbooks in England include: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/hr/assets/documents/support-overseas-staff- guide_jb.pdf (Newcastle University), http://www.bristol.ac.uk/international- office/staff-support/ (Bristol University). • Examples of very useful institutional welcome handbooks in Northern Ireland include: http://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/QUBJobVacancies/WorkingatQueens/International Recruitment/ (Queen’s University, Belfast). • Examples of very useful institutional welcome handbooks in Wales include: http://www.bangor.ac.uk/relocation/nonuk.php.en? menu=9&catid=3210&subid=0 (Bangor University). • Examples of very useful institutional welcome handbooks in Scotland include: http://www.dundee.ac.uk/hr/new_employees/relocation/international/ (University of Dundee). • What is more likely is that the institution you are joining will have information packs for international students, not staff, joining the institution. Take advantage of these resources. Whilst they may not be directly relevant to workplace issues, they will cover many of the generic concerns you are likely to face. • One website, geared towards the student population, which you might find useful is: http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/student/information_sheets.php17 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  18. 18. 5. SETTLING INTO THE UK HIGHER EDUCATION SECTOR: (See Checklist 2, Checklist 7, Checklist 8, Appendix 10)What is academic life really all about? • Entering employment in HE can be an unnerving experience. At your interview you may well have discussed a host of questions linked to teaching and contact hours, opportunities for research and promotion. You may even have reached agreements within the interview regarding what your likely work commitments will be. It is quite common for these agreements to exist only in verbal format. • Likely you will enter academia with particular personal objectives, aspirations and a set of expectations. Some will be realistic. Other’s not. • Often these might be linked to developing a research profile. Indeed you may have been employed on the basis of your emerging research profile. This is very positive, but not an entirely accurate reflection of your probable workload in the early years. • Your work is more likely to revolve primarily around three functions, not one: teaching and learning, research and scholarly activity, administration. • Teaching and learning will probably take up most of your time at this stage . The Guide has been developed to reflect this.Which function is the most important? • The relative importance of each function will be determined to a large extent by the culture of your institution. • In reality this culture is in turn specifically influenced by how that institution is funded. • Institutions with significant research incomes will have a very strong research culture and expect you to focus most attention accordingly. Often these are ‘old universities’. • Institutions more dependent upon teaching income will naturally be heavily loaded towards teaching, and aspire to research excellence. Often these are ‘new universities’.In the UK, what are ‘old universities’ and ‘new universities’? • The Further and Higher Education Act 1992 significantly altered ‘university’ supply, granting former polytechnics university status with their own degree awarding powers (Callender and Jackson, 2008). • ‘Old universities’ also referred to as ‘pre ’92 universities’ are those institutions which were universities prior to the 1992 Act.18 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  19. 19. • ‘New universities’ also referred to as ‘post ’92 universities’, are those institutions which became universities as a result of the 1992 Act. They are predominantly former polytechnics and Colleges of HE.What is the National Student Survey (NSS)? • Reference: www.thestudentsurvey.com • This is an annual national survey, completed on-line by final year Higher National Diploma (HND) and undergraduate students in most further and higher educational institutions across the UK. • The survey began in 2005. • It comprises of twenty-one questions in six sections and one overall satisfaction question. • The data is used to compile comparative data published on www.unistats.com, a website designed to help future students choose where and what to study. • It is launched in January/February time of each academic year. • It is administered by an independent market research agency. • Remember that regardless of what we think about this survey and the methodology employed, the findings appear within the public domain. They will inevitably influence potential students and their parents in their choice of HE institution.What is the Browne review? • The full title of the Browne review is the Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance (Browne, 2010). • This review, together with the UK Coalition Government Comprehensive Spending Review 2010 (HM Treasury, 2010) recommends a shift away from traditional public sector funding support into a free market economy, alongside encouraging further HE competition. • There is no one common UK Higher Educational Institution (HEI) response to these reviews. • The different level of fees across England, Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland is one clear example of this.Why do management employ ‘new’ academic staff?Research by BMAF indicates that management are excited by the appointment of ‘new’academic staff. They see you as: • Encouraging the flow of talent. • Providing ‘new blood’ to an organization. • Offering a means of challenging existing policies and practices within an Institution • Offering different perspectives which can re-ignite subject area debates.19 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  20. 20. • Offering an infectious enthusiasm which has a positive impact upon fellow colleagues. • (Possibly) Being able to relate to, and interact effectively with, the student population.Who are my colleagues and where do they fit in? • Your internal colleagues will include: fellow academic staff and many groups of support staff including library, IT staff, media resources, building managers, café staff, parking attendants. • Academic staff might include any combination of the following: professors, readers, principal lectures, senior lecturers, lecturers, associate lecturers, teaching fellows, graduate teaching assistants, PhD students. • Academic staff may be full-time, part-time, permanent, on fixed term contracts. They may be contracted to full lecturing and research duties, or may be focused upon particular components of this, teaching for instance.How do I meet my colleagues? • Ask – is there a coffee morning or another opportunity to meet colleagues informally? Don’t meet them for the first time at an external conference. It is embarrassing. • Introduce yourself to support staff and ask what they need from you. This is likely to include your availability to see students and when you are planning to have coursework submitted. • Support staff is often the oracle. They are your lifeline. They work to tight deadlines e.g. in preparing exam board spreadsheets, which are usually set centrally. They seldom have any influence over the setting of these deadlines. Do not make their job any more complicated than it needs to be.What questions should I ask on, and from, Day One?Focus upon: • People • Access codes • Teaching Commitments • Information Technology • Essentials • Non-teaching responsibilities • Contractual requirements • Environment20 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  21. 21. The questions linked to these areas are detailed in Appendix 2.What are the key documents I really need on Day One? • Departmental telephone/e-mail contact list. • Campus map. • Departmental Health and Safety information. • Departmental meetings calendar – often this information does not exist in one format. Appendix 7 will help you to build your own meetings schedule where this is the case.21 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  22. 22. THE ACADEMIC AS A TEACHER:(See Checklist 3, Checklist 4, Checklist 5)Whether you consider yourself a ‘teacher’ or ‘a researcher’, the reality isthat most likely a major part of your job in these early years will include youdelivering teaching materials to a student population. This is consequentlythe main section of the Guide.This section includes questions linked to: • Teaching activity. • The student population. • The assessment process.TEACHING ACTIVITY:What teaching will I be responsible for? • You are likely to be responsible for the management and delivery of one, two or more modules. Responsibilities beyond this will vary, but are likely to be limited in your first year. • Expect a large degree of autonomy. Inviting guest lecturers, developing industry projects, determining suitable reading literature and much more will be your call. This freedom is priceless.What level of teaching can I expect to be involved in? • You might be involved in any of the following: foundation degree, Higher National Diploma (HND), degree, postgraduate teaching and post-experience activity, executive education or research student (MPhil/PhD) supervision. Each has a particular set of needs.Will I have to prepare all the teaching materials from scratch? • If it is a new module, running for the first time, then yes, you probably will. • If it is an existing module, which you are taking over from another colleague then it will depend upon your colleague. • Some colleagues will willingly share resources with others. Passing over teaching materials for you to work from, or modify, will be second nature to them. • Other colleagues may be less accommodating and offer little or nothing. • Let’s hope you work with the first group!22 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  23. 23. What do I do if I am asked to teach outside of my subject area? • In the first instance you are likely to be given teaching which others do not want and you may have no direct experience in. Everyone goes through this. Be patient. In time you too will be able to pass unwanted teaching on. • You may be asked to cover work which only has a limited lifespan, for example, there are only two years left of a particular programme. This can be extremely frustrating and a very poor use of resources. Accept this and try not to dwell on it. Again, others will have experienced this too so will understand your annoyance even if they cannot do anything about it.How many hours will I have to teach? • Some, but not all, institutions have contractual obligations as to the number of hours you are expected to teach. Many of the ‘new university’ contracts for instance often stipulate no more than eighteen hours class contact time in any one week. • Whether institutions will hold you to such contractual obligations in your first year will vary considerably. At this stage many institutions may try to reduce your teaching load in order to help you to establish yourself and become more familiar with working in the HE context. • Institutions will have some way of working out your workload. This is usually done through the application of a workload model.What is a workload model? • A workload model is an extremely crude attempt at quantifying how we spend our time as an academic. • There is no common workload model across HE. All institutions, if not Departments, develop their own model. Consequently even within one institution the model will differ on a Departmental basis. • The model usually works on awarding a certain number of hours to the different functions you perform. For instance you might be awarded 60 hours for the delivery of one 10 credit module which includes 12 weeks of one hour lectures, 12 weeks of three one hour seminars, marking and moderation of 120 coursework assignments and examination scripts. • You will likely be awarded time for administration and time for research too. At this stage do not expect a lot of time for these functions unless you are carrying an administrative role, course leadership for instance, or are involved in a research project which carries research funding with it. • The model will probably have been developed to provide a sense of fairness across a Department. • How equitable the model is will depend upon the level of detail it takes account of. For instance, workload models often struggle to cope with differentiating between23 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  24. 24. modules with high and low student numbers. Modules with high student numbers inevitably take considerable time to manage effectively. You will probably exceed the maximum hours allocated for teaching just dealing with the correspondence and marking attached to such a module. • Workload models seldom differentiate between modules where you are expected to develop new materials and modules where you have been given materials to work from. • Similarly assessment practices are unlikely to be a feature of the model. There is a world of difference between marking 200 essays and feeding 200 multiple choice response sheets through an automated process... • Workload models also cope only with explicit functions. They seldom take account of the hours you might spend helping students, and staff, or sitting on institutional non-essential committees in areas you might care about, environmental or disability support groups for instance. • For your own sanity try to see them as a crude attempt at workload management. If you take them too seriously, or dwell on them, you will become really, really fed-up. Rise above it and note ways to refine the model when you are in a position of influence in future years!What is the difference between a lecture, a seminar and a tutorial? • A lecture usually takes place on a weekly basis and delivers the primary content of the module. • It is usually delivered, cohort size allowing, to all students taking a particular module in one go. • If the cohort size is too big for one delivery the lecture may need to be repeated. To be fair to all students make sure that the repeat lecture follows the same script and examples as the first delivery did. • A lecture is usually tutor led and often quite formal in style. • The amount of student input into a lecture will vary considerably. This really will reflect the lecturing style of the tutor taking the lecture. • The terms seminar and tutorial are often used interchangeably to mean more or less the same thing. • These classes are usually considerably smaller than lectures with numbers perhaps in the region of 15 to 25 students. • They make take place on a weekly basis, or every other week. • They are usually structured in a way which gets students involved in discussions and debates. For instance, the tutor may ask for reading or research to be undertaken in preparation for the class. This activity then either forms the central talking point of the seminar, or underpins the emergent conversations. • As with multiple lecture deliveries, make sure you are consistent in your delivery of multiple seminar/tutorial classes.24 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  25. 25. What might my typical teaching and learning related activities include? • Ordering books. • Curriculum design: content and pedagogical issues. • Updating module specifications. • Teaching materials: design, preparation, delivery and evaluation. • Producing schemes of work. • Delivery of teaching materials which might include lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, e-learning, blended learning. • Evaluation of teaching activity is usually completed towards the end of a module delivery. Your Department is likely to have a standard proforma to apply. Check this out and how, where and when to report the findings. Do students get to see the results? Ask. • Coursework assessment: design, administration, advice, marking, student feedback, results analysis. • Examinations: design of both first and resit papers, preparation of suggested solutions, response to external examiner feedback on your papers, possible invigilation duties (main and resit period), marking, moderation, feedback (your Institution will have a policy on what you can/cannot feedback on examination papers), results analysis, examination board attendance. • Examination board attendance might include an interim board, pre-board and actual board. An interim board might take place during the year to monitor progress. A pre- board might take place prior to a final exam board. This board usually considers the full set of marks without the External Examiner necessarily present. A final exam board, usually attended by External Examiner’s and University administration, reaches final decisions regarding student progress/completion.What will I need to begin my teaching? • Formally approved module specification, or similar document. This is the document which has been approved by validation/re-validation events. It is often available online. The Student Support Office will know where. • Module Handbook – there may be a Departmental template for this and other documents. Ask. • Assignment documentation and deadlines. • Classlists (lectures and tutorials/seminars). • External Examiner requests or feedback. • Access to the course/programme regulations.Where will I find out information? • Colleagues, support staff in particular.25 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  26. 26. • Your institutional intranet is likely to be a mine of information. You are likely to have a wealth of policy documents at your fingertips. • A considerable amount of information might be found in a staff handbook (if available) or student handbook (most likely available).What are module learning outcomes? • Learning outcomes map out what a module is intended to cover. They define the content of the syllabus. • It is important to include them in module handbooks. • It is also useful to use them to structure your lecture sessions. Noting which outcomes will be addressed in a lecture helps students piece together the module overall.Do I have to cover all module learning outcomes? • Yes, but not necessarily all outcomes in every assignment activity.How much freedom do I have to teach what I want in a module? • Meeting the module learning outcomes is the key to the module delivery. • How you explore these outcomes, your selection of examples for instance, is up to you.Will I be expected to supervise student projects? • Yes. This might include acting as an undergraduate placement tutor, undergraduate and postgraduate dissertation supervisor, MPhil/PhD supervisor. • Each supervisory role is different. • There is likely to be a Departmental/Institutional document/handbook linked to different types of project, for the student at least. Ask. • Check out the role of ethics too. Does your Department have an Ethics Committee? Are all projects, undergraduate and postgraduate, to be subject to ethical approval? What is the process? Institutional and/or Departmental documentation will exist for you to consult.Will I be given any pastoral roles in the early days? • Likely. These might include: Personal Tutor, Mentor and Referee. • Check out Departmental protocols on writing references. There may be a standard proforma to follow, or rules about who can and cannot write a reference. • Requests for references can appear at anytime throughout the year. January onwards is a particularly popular time as many students begin to apply for further courses.26 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  27. 27. • International students usually apply to multiple courses within multiple institutions. Be prepared to receive multiple reference requests.How do I learn to teach? • Your institution will require you to complete some form of professional development in this area. It might take the form of a postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma, or a shorter more focused programme. This professional development will introduce you to a host of pedagogical tools you can use e.g. lecture delivery, action learning, experiential learning etc. • It will not happen on day one however. Prepare yourself to drive the car before you have even taken driving lessons. • Ask a colleague/s if you can sit in on their sessions to get some ideas. Few colleagues enjoy being ‘observed’ so do not take it personally if some say no. There are plenty who will say yes.What do I do if I want to organise a field trip? • There will be Department protocols here linked to legal requirements and insurance matters. • There may be a field trip co-ordinator who can offer advice. • If not, find a colleague who has organised a trip and follow their advice.Will I be subject to inspections/audits? • Yes. These are likely to include: o Peer review of your teaching, although check out trade union guidance on this. o Internal curriculum reviews o Institutional audits o Professional body inspections where relevant e.g. Accountancy o Accreditation Body inspections o These inspections will usually be a central talking point of Departmental meetings, Boards of Study, for a considerable time prior to the event itself. At this stage, it is unlikely that you will take any lead role in these activities beyond your own module contributions.Do I have to take attendance registers? • Check out Departmental protocols here. • It is likely to be a requirement for international students.27 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  28. 28. • Monitoring attendance is often very helpful for identifying ‘problem’ students, and students with problems. • Circulate a class list and ask students to sign in. • Policing the accuracy of register completion is impossible in large groups. Appeal to students to help you here. Does the student cohort want absent students to be given credit for attendance? You will find that increasingly they do not.What do I do if a student is ill in class? • With large student cohorts you need to be prepared to cope with student sudden illness. • The collapse of a student for whatever reason e.g. an epileptic fit, is a key example of this. • Ask your Health and Safety officer for advice here before you begin lecturing. They will either know the answer or be able to direct you to the relevant contact here. Advice will be available. • Whatever situation you confront, and no matter how you feel, attempt to remain as calm as you can. The student cohort will be looking to you for re-assurance.How do I change the content of a module, or introduce a new module? • Updating module content or introducing a new module is important and expected in this subject area. • The University will have formal processes through which you do this. These might include review by Boards of Study at a Departmental level (minor modifications), or a fuller review (major modifications). Which process you need to follow will depend upon the extent to which you are altering the module. • Remember though that your module is one part of an overall programme. You will need to consider the breadth and depth of module content, pre-requisites, delivery styles and assessment design in light of the rest of the programme/s the module contributes to.How do I know if I am a good or bad teacher? • Human instinct means that we are more likely to ‘complain’ than we are to praise. • Encouraging students to provide feedback throughout their programme is a healthy way of keeping on top of any issues which might be festering away. • Complaints may take a number of forms and will be of varying seriousness. • There will be Departmental protocols on responding to complaints. • Often it is not the complaint itself which creates big problems, but the way in which it is handled.28 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  29. 29. • It is really important to try to deal with matters as quickly and thoroughly as possible, communicating progress to the student as you proceed. • Moments of praise will appear. Savour them!What facilities will my teaching rooms have? • Facilities are likely to vary widely. • Whilst lecture rooms will probably have an Overhead projector (OHP), computer and data projector installed, do not presume they will all be there and functioning. • Always have a back-up, worst case scenario plan in your mind. • Seminar rooms are likely to be less well equipped, unless you have specifically requested particular facilities in them.Can I use my own laptop in teaching rooms? • You might well have to! Find out who the technician covering your teaching rooms is and ask them for guidance on what is/is not included in the room.I am timetabled for one hour lectures. Do I lecture for the full hour? • No. Usually this time allocation includes time for students and staff to move between classes. • It is more likely that you will start on the hour and finish by ten minutes to the hour. Check your own institutional arrangements here.Am I responsible for the state I leave the teaching room in? • Custom and practice means that we should all take responsibility for ensuring that the room we leave is fit for another group to use. • If you re-arrange the room furniture return it to the original arrangement. Clean the boards and get students to remove their rubbish. • Unless a colleague is obviously entering the room, power down data projectors (the bulbs are very expensive); turn off lights and other power sources. • Return keys (e.g. DVD cabinet) to the office you collected them from.What do I need to do if I want to invite a Guest Speaker in? • Check out the Departmental arrangements for paying a guest speaker before you agree to anything. Most will speak for free anyway, particularly where you offer to return the compliment. • Check out parking arrangements and book well in advance. • Let Reception know you are expecting this speaker and how to get hold of you when they arrive.29 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  30. 30. • Make sure you equip the speaker with clear information about where to find you, when, what you hope they will cover and how long they have to deliver their material.Do I need to evaluate my teaching at all? • Yes. There will be Departmental processes here. These are likely to focus upon evaluating the module at the end of each delivery, possibly using a standard Departmental proforma. • You will probably have to write a report based on the evaluation and possibly also post this onto the virtual learning environment (VLE) so that students can see what was raised and how you intend to respond to the points they raise. • It is also a good idea to carry out an informal module evaluation during the module delivery too. Around week four or five would be a good time as this gives you plenty of time to correct any problems and prevent them from festering. • Make sure students feel free to comment anonymously and ask them what they like and dislike about the module. • Summarise the findings and report these back to them the following week highlighting how you plan to respond to any comments made. • It may not be possible, or desirable, to change the module delivery to accommodate all concerns. This is to be expected. The key is that you acknowledge to students that you have noted all their concerns and that you explain why it is that you are unable to respond to some e.g. group work assessment is often unpopular but may be a programme requirement at a particular level of study.How are courses reviewed? • All courses are usually reviewed as part of an annual monitoring programme. • The review process will likely consider: module feedback (staff and students), survey data and performance statistics, external examiner feedback.THE STUDENT POPULATION:What can I expect in terms of students? • Expect to be faced with large cohorts of students. Lecturing to classes in excess of 100 or more is common in business subjects. Marking will inevitably be on a similar scale.30 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  31. 31. • Students might be in a large group but they are still individuals with individual needs. • Expect increasing numbers of students, particularly at postgraduate level, to be international, English not their first language. • Expect students to have commitments outside their education. Avoid re-scheduling classes where possible as many set up part-time working commitments alongside their ‘normal’ timetable. • Expect an increasingly diverse population. Widening participation is an important feature of HE today. Ask what this means in your own institution. • Students might be full-time or part-time. You will notice considerable differences between the two groups. Students engaged on part-time programmes are often extremely motivated but are also likely to be coping with multiple roles whilst completing their studies. Pastoral support can make or break their experience.What are Generation Y students? • Many students will be part of the Generation Y birth cohort, born broadly between 1977 and 2001 depending upon which research study you read. They are likely to be digital natives connected 24-7, civic-minded, self-confident, service-minded, optimistic, environmental, educated, entrepreneurial, bored by routine, opinionated, success-driven, diverse, lifestyle-centered and goal orientated (Palfrey and Gasser, 2008; Tapscott, 2008). • Generation Y is also the helicopter generation, with parents hovering over students, acting in an advisory role (Gibbs, 2009). You will confront this at Open Days. Parents are likely to be paying out a lot of money to support their child through HE. You may also receive direct communication from parents during the course of study. Students are adults. There are issues of data protection to consider. Check out your Departmental/Institutional position on responding to parents. • For home students, this generation has been educated through the National Curriculum, GCSEs, A Levels and similar vocational courses each designed to continually test their ability in modular format. They are used to re-submitting work, often on multiple occasions, to improve their grade. Assessment practices within HE will come as a big shock to them.What will the student population expect from me? • Support, care and attention to detail. • Their 24-7 digital connection means that you are just as likely to receive e-mails during the day or night. They are used to instant messaging and checking out social networking sites multiple times a day and night. They will expect a response. Check out your Departmental/Institutional position on this. Many institutions now will have a policy, for instance, responding within 3 working days.31 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  32. 32. What questions are students likely to ask me? • Are lectures compulsory? • Are seminars/tutorials compulsory? • How will the coursework be marked? • What marks will be awarded for each component of the assessment? • When will the work be marked? • What happens if I fail? • What happens if I submit the work late? • Will you be running revision sessions? Details? • What will the examination cover? • How will examination questions be marked? • How can I get the best mark in examinations? • Are there any past examination papers/model answers I can consult? • How do I access past examination papers and solutions?What are students particularly focused upon? • Students are increasingly focused upon their assessment marks and how to maximise these. • Be transparent throughout the assessment process. • Stick to Departmental marking criteria for consistency.What do I do if students are disruptive e.g. arrive late, talk through my lectures, use their mobile phones? • There may well be Departmental protocols in this area. • Get your students on board with how to manage disruptive situations and work out the class rules regarding late arrivals, use of mobile phones and talking in class. • Students increasingly today get annoyed when other students disrupt their learning. Their intervention can often be far more effective than your own. • Feedback shows that they appreciate being involved in the decision-making process.How should I respond if a student challenges my lecture materials? • Great! Welcome it! • Also pre-empt it. Explain clearly from the beginning that you cannot possibly know everything, and encourage students to question you.32 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  33. 33. • If you are asked a question that you cannot answer, tell the truth and let them know that you will get back to them on their question in the next lecture. Some-one will probably ‘Google’ the answer for you by the end of the lecture anyway.Should I know the names of my students? • Yes, but in large groups this is incredibly difficult to achieve. • At the very least, work hard at knowing your personal tutees and other students you have a particular pastoral or administrative role for.What do I do if my students or I are struggling with speaking or writing in English? • This is an increasingly big problem. • It is likely that your Department, or your institution more broadly, will run classes which offer support in this area. • Check out the arrangements for this early on. • Identifying students in this situation can be challenging in large groups. • Make sure all students are given the opportunity to talk in seminars/tutorials. • Be vigilant in marking coursework and examinations. Raise your concerns with your Director of Teaching and Learning as early on as possible. • Students with weak English skills will often use e-mail as their preferred route of communicating with you.How do I manage student contact with me? • Follow Departmental protocols. These protocols should provide advice on what is expected regarding your response to e-mails and setting up office hours. • If there are no protocols then ask colleagues in your subject group what approaches they adopt and attempt to emulate these. • Students welcome consistency. • Students do not handle change particularly well. If you set up office hours and then need to alter them, make sure that you clearly communicate these changes. • If you are unavailable on e-mail put your out-of-office on to indicate this. • If you do not have, or are not going to use, a blackberry, smart phone, iphone or other similar gadgets tell them. They probably do and will not understand why you do not instantly get back to them. • The bottom line to getting this right is to clearly communicate how and when you can be contacted and to stick to your own rules! • Some students will eat up your time. Some will have very good reason for this. Others will not. You need to look closely at how you manage your time here. Where appropriate:33 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  34. 34. o Refer students to other services, counselling or careers for instance. o Remind students that you have a responsibility to be available for others. You have to share your time fairly.What do I do if students complain to me about a colleague? • Encourage them in the first instance to raise the matter with the member of staff involved. • If this is not appropriate then follow the Departmental complaints procedure.Am I allowed to have a relationship with one of my students? • This is a very sensitive area. There may be Departmental guidance on this, but probably not given how sensitive the matter is. • It has to be your call, but remember that there is an in-balance of power between a lecturer and student. To engage in a relationship may threaten the professionalism that you are probably working so hard to achieve. Ask yourself – would they be interested in you if you were not a lecturer?THE ASSESSMENT PROCESS:How do I set coursework and examination papers? • The nature, weighting and length of assessments, coursework and examinations, will be pre-determined by your Department/Institution. They are likely to differ by level of study. • This information will be set out in your formally approved module specification. For example a 10 credit module might stipulate one coursework assessment (essay),34 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  35. 35. 2000 word limit maximum, worth 40% of the module mark and one, two hour examination paper, worth 60% of the mark. • You will need to stick completely to what your module specification says in this area. • Check out Departmental protocols in terms of the return of marked coursework. This may be within three or four working weeks for instance. Set your coursework deadlines to allow you to achieve this. Make sure these deadlines can be accommodated by the support office if they are receiving the work in. • There are usually rules about the use of previous assignments and examination papers. For instance, you may be unable to set the same assessments within a five year period. • Exam papers, resit papers and model answers will be required months prior to the examination itself. This might be around October time for a January examination, or February time for a May examination. • Usually your assessments will be seen by an internal moderator who is one of your colleagues, and an External Examiner. The internal moderation process is carried out as you develop your assessments. This means that any glaring problems with the assessment will (hopefully) be picked up at this early stage. • Inevitably work sent off to External Examiners for their comment takes time to be reviewed. That said, where there are problems these are usually identified and communicated back as quickly as possible.What do I need to do for students who are re-sitting coursework and/or examinations? • Module leaders have a responsibility to ensure re-sitting students are able to access resit guidance. • This guidance might take the form of revision notes, past examination papers and model answers. • Communicating this information to your students is really important. Posting this guidance on the virtual learning environment might offer one solution. This might be a Departmental expectation. Check Departmental protocols here.How do I stop students from copying the work of others? • Plagiarism is an increasingly important issue in HE, helped particularly through the internet. • Check out your Departmental and institutional protocols here at an early stage. • Note particularly what constitutes plagiarism and how to deal with it. • Check out what information is communicated to students in this area. • Re-enforce this information in your lectures.35 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  36. 36. • It is likely that your Department will utilise a software package to detect plagiarism. Turnitin is a popular package in HE, but not the only one. Familiarise yourself with the features of the package you are to use.How do I mark work and how much feedback is required? • Familiarise yourself with your Institutional regulations regarding marking practice • Make sure your written feedback is legible!! • Be consistent and transparent in your marking practices. • External Examiners often ask staff to make sure that they use the full range of marks available for a module. • Marking to the Departmental marking criteria will help you with this. • Be very careful about marking close to different marking bands. • Take on board comments your internal, and external moderators might have. • Feedback is of varying importance to students. Some simply want to know the mark awarded and never bother to collect the full feedback sheets you will spend hours producing. Other students want to know how every mark was awarded, or indeed ‘lost’. • You need to provide sufficient feedback to help a student understand their strengths and weaknesses. • To be of any real use to the student, this feedback should also provide advice on how they might improve their marks in the future. • Moderation must occur before work is returned to students. Your Department will have a formula to determine how many scripts to moderate. This might be in the region of 10% of the overall sample, taken from across the marking range. Check this out and stick to the rules. There might be different rules for new staff – check.How do I mark group work? • This is a complex task and there are likely to be Departmental protocols here. If there are none, speak with subject colleagues about how they manage this situation. • Questions you particularly need answering are: o Are there any limits on group size? o Are there any limits on the weighting of group work assignments? o What are the marking criteria for group work? o What are the procedures for managing malfunctioning groups? o What happens if the assignment is submitted incomplete? o What do I do if a student has to resit a coursework activity which is based upon group work?36 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  37. 37. Can I take marking home? • Check Departmental protocols here. • The question you need to ask yourself is can you ensure the security of scripts taken home? • Increasingly today student coursework is submitted on-line, often through plagiarism detection software. This has the added advantage of there being a copy of all coursework in the system. • However, examination scripts are different. The examination paper you mark will probably be the only copy of the script. Make sure you take every precaution not to lose these scripts. Even leaving them in the boot of your car whilst shopping on the way home is a high risk strategy. They are irreplaceable.What are the usual marking bands?Usually at undergraduate level these are: • 70% and upwards, a First Class/Class I mark. • 60-69%, an Upper Second, or a II:I. • 50-59%, a Lower Second, or a II:II. • 40-49%, a Third Class, or III.Marks which fall below 40% are fails. However they will vary in how they are treated.Check out your institutional protocols here. Question for instance whether marks in therange of 35-39% can be compensated.How do I cope with invigilating examinations? • You are unlikely to be in charge of an examination room at this stage. • Nevertheless, check out examination office procedures including what to do in the event of cheating and fire evacuation. Your institution will have a policy regarding these situations. • If you are a module leader your institution may well have a policy that you are expected to be present for the first ten minutes of your exam paper to answer any questions. Ask.What do I need to do regarding the External Examiner? • Whilst the particular responsibilities of the External Examiner vary from institution to institution, fundamentally their role is to advise on the consistency of academic standards and practice across institutions. • Consider them to be a critical friend.37 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  38. 38. • In the early years, you are unlikely to have responsibility for making direct contact with an External Examiner, unless you are a programme leader, or there is a ‘problem’ linked to one of your modules. • It is much more likely that you will be called upon to provide key information about the modules for which you are responsible. This information might include: Module Handbook; Module Coursework Assessment; Module Marking Criteria; Module Examination Paper with Suggested Solutions; Module Resit Examination Paper with Suggested Solutions; Module Results Analysis; Module Leader Report • You are likely to meet the External Examiner at your Interim or Final Examination Boards. There may be a number of External Examiners present at these Boards. Externals might be taken on to cover programmes or subject areas. • External Examiners are expected to produce a report of their experiences each year. This report is taken very seriously. It is read by senior management within the University and is used to inform future practices.THE ACADEMIC AS A RESEARCHER:(See Checklist 6)What is scholarly activity? • Scholarly activity is an implicit function of an academic career.38 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  39. 39. • This is the function which allows us to keep on developing as academics. • This is the function which you are least likely to have time to work on, particularly in the early days and years. As a result the research part of this function is often the area which colleagues will get most stressed about… • Make time for research whenever you can. Do not wait for clear patches. They seldom appear. It is very rare for time available to be devoted entirely to research activity. • Start small and try and integrate this activity into your everyday life. • Appendix 6 details questions linked to research that you need to ask from Day One.What are the most common examples of this activity? • Research activity, including personal research activity and team activities. • Conference attendance and participation. • Consultancy activity. • Involvement in projects such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP’s). • Professional updating. • Academic enterprise. • External Examinerships. • Editorial Board membership. • Professional Body activities.How important is it that I become involved in scholarly activity? • Fundamental. Engaging in scholarly activity is probably the unwritten rule in your institution, although how you go about this will often vary considerably. • This is the area which will open many doors for you throughout your career. • It also offers you the chance to engage more widely outside academia too. • Wider engagement with the public, private and not-for-profit sectors will be really helpful for your teaching and learning activities. These links might act as guest speakers, or have a pedagogical input e.g. contributing to forms of experiential learning for instance. They will help you keep up-to-date with your subject area too.Which form of scholarly activity is the most important? • Check your institutional position here. • Whilst all examples have a role to play you will probably find the answer is research. • Certainly in terms of your own professional development, a research profile is the area that you are most likely to need and be judged upon.39 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  40. 40. Will I be given a timetable allowance for this activity? • At this point in your career it is unlikely that you will be given a lot of time. • As with teaching and learning activity, the amount will be determined locally through your Departmental workload model, or equivalent. • In time you will start applying for research funding externally. Such monies might then be used to buy you out of some teaching.What funding options should I consider at this stage? • Funding bodies need to be convinced that you are capable of delivering on projects they fund. To convince them you often need evidence of previous success… • Apply for small pots of money to build up this evidence. Applying for internal funding and funding from professional organisations is often a good way to get started here.Will I be able to use this activity in applying for future jobs and promotional opportunities? • You are unlikely to be able to succeed in HE without it!Will I benefit financially from other forms of scholarly activity? • Some forms of scholarly activity will carry financial incentives, consultancy and External Examiner appointments for instance. • Talk to your Finance Officer about the rates that you can charge and any Institutional requirements and costings that you need to take account of.How do I find out opportunities to become involved in this work? • The more you become involved in this area and make a name for yourself, the more you will be invited to do. It is all about networking. • In the early days work on letting people know you are there and that you are interested in this area of academic life. • Join professional bodies and attend their events. This is a good way of meeting like minded people and of finding out what is going on. • Take advantage of your own Institutional opportunities too. • Be patient and do not expect everything to happen at once. It can take years to develop a profile in this area. It can take years to write a substantive article.What are the RAE and the REF? • These terms are linked to how research monies are distributed across the HE sector.40 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence
  41. 41. • The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) was a peer reviewed exercise aimed at determining the quality of research in UK HE institutions (HEIs). • It was a joint initiative between the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Council for Wales (HEFCW) and the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland (DEL). • The exercise ran in 1992, 1996, 2001 and 2008. • Further information can be accessed via www.rae.ac.uk and www.hefce.ac.uk • The Research Excellence Framework (REF) replaces the RAE as the new system for assessing UK HEI’s research quality. • It continues to be a joint venture between the four UK funding bodies. • The first REF will be completed in 2014. • The census date for staff eligible for inclusion is 31 st October 2013. • Research output eligible for inclusion is that published (in the public domain) between 1st January 2008 and 31st December 2013. • Institutional submissions will be assessed in terms of: o The quality of research outputs (citation information is important here). o The wider impact of research. o The vitality of the research environment. • It will operate on a five point scale from unclassified to 4* research. • Further information can be accessed via www.hefce.ac.uk/research/ref • The RAE contained many anomalies, sole authored work considered equal to multiple authored work for instance. The same work ‘claimed’ by authors from different institutions. It is probable that the REF will have its host of anomalies too. You cannot do anything about them at this stage. Ignore them and focus upon getting off the research starting blocks.Research outputs seem important. How are decisions reached regarding the quality of research outputs? • This is a highly contentious area! • REF documentation publishes guidance on the five point scale used to determine quality (unclassified to 4* research). • Distinctions are made between research of national and international standing. • Demonstrating research impact is an important requirement of the new REF. • Journal listings are being increasingly used by authors to guide where we attempt to publish our research. • The Association of Business Schools (ABS) Journal Quality Guide (Harvey, Kelly, Morris and Rowlinson, 2010) is one of the Journal listing guides commonly referred to within the Business Education area (accessible via www.the-abs.org.uk).41 This document has been released under a Creative Commons licence

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